This book is the fictional story of an American couple, Harold and Erica, and their journey through life (suspended in time in the early 21st century). The author uses Harold and Erica's lives to serve as a jumping off point for the points he wants to make about psychology, culture, and human nature.
I really enjoyed this book in the beginning; it starts off with a look at how Harold's parents met, then goes into infant development and also into Erica's childhood. However, as the two subjects grew older, I grew less interested in the book. I don't think it was necessarily because the two grew older, but I think because I felt less grounded in the story of the couple. Their lives are pretty darn incredible for two random people on the planet. They had to have incredible lives to follow the path that Brooks wanted them to take so that he could make the points he wanted to make, but it sort of took away from the realism of the beginning and the ordinary-ness of the first few chapters.
There are a lot of interesting points in this book and Brooks is really good at taking lots of information and research studies and putting it down so that it all makes sense together, in relation to human nature. That stuff was really good. And the sense of humor is really nice - I liked the wry look at some of the topics, and it wasn't all super serious.
I absolutely hated one part - the politics section. I just couldn't relate to Erica and Harold anymore, and I hate politics to start off with, so I just didn't care about it at all. It literally nearly put me to sleep - I almost dozed off on the couch.
Afterwards, when Erica and Harold begin exploring old age and retirement, and how it changes a person, including the way they are viewed by society, it became interesting again. That's basically when Erica and Harold went from superstar entrepreneurs/CEOs/famous history book authors/major government officials (all in one couple) back to normal. I liked that.
This was a really interesting book with an interesting premise, but I wanted more from it. More of the beginning and the end, less of the middle.